Outspoken: Paul Robeson, Ahead of His Time: A One-Man Show (Hardcover)

Outspoken: Paul Robeson, Ahead of His Time: A One-Man Show By Carole Boston Weatherford, Eric Velasquez (Illustrator) Cover Image
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Newbery Honoree Carole Boston Weatherford and award-winning illustrator Eric Velasquez—the team behind Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library—reunite to take full measure of an iconic performer and political activist.

Paul Robeson rose to prominence during the Harlem Renaissance, known for his extraordinary vocal, dramatic, and oratory skills. But he was a true Renaissance man: an accomplished athlete, a bright intellect, and a passionate supporter for humanitarian causes. He displayed his talents on many stages: the pulpit where he filled in for his minister father; on debate, football, baseball, basketball, and track teams; in college and law school classrooms; on the theatrical stage and the silver screen; and behind the podium. Paul Robeson became internationally renowned as a singer and actor, and as his fame grew, so did his unflinching activism against racial injustice. He used the power of his voice to speak out as America’s conscience, but when his nation was not yet willing to listen, he found a more-supportive reception abroad—in Africa, Great Britain, and the USSR. In this moving birth-to-death biography, Carole Boston Weatherford’s poetic first-person narrative, interlaced with excerpts from African American spirituals, pairs with dynamic illustrations by Eric Velasquez capturing Paul Robeson’s commanding presence. Back matter includes a time line, source notes, and bibliography for readers inspired to learn more.

About the Author

Carole Boston Weatherford, a New York Times best-selling author and poet, was named the 2019 Washington Post–Children’s Book Guild Nonfiction Award winner. Her numerous books for children include the Newbery Honor Book BOX: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom, illustrated by Michele Wood; the Coretta Scott King Author Award winner Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre, illustrated by Floyd Cooper; the Robert F. Sibert Honor Book Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, illustrated by Ekua Holmes; and the critically acclaimed Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library, illustrated by Eric Velasquez. Carole Boston Weatherford lives in North Carolina.

Eric Velasquez is the award-winning illustrator of Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library, by Carole Boston Weatherford, which received a Walter Dean Myers Award and a Golden Kite Award, and ¡Mambo Mucho Mambo! The Dance That Crossed Color Lines by Dean Robbins. He has also won a John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award and a Pura Belpré Illustrator Award. Eric Velasquez lives in Hartsdale, New York.

Praise For…

[Robeson's] strength of character as an “unbending truth teller and troublemaker” comes through clearly in the illustrations as well as the words; in montages of images, many based on contemporary photographs, Velasquez poses him heroically, whether in charismatic performance, speaking out defiantly against racism and social injustice, or, finally, broken down by poor health.
—Booklist (starred review)

In comprehensive first-person free verse and oil portraiture, Boston Weatherford and Velasquez reverently draw the life of multifaceted performer, athlete, and activist Paul Robeson.
—Publishers Weekly

Informative, insightful, and comprehensive, this book will be a valuable addition to reference shelves, classrooms, and anywhere older elementary children are drawn to learning more about legendary American changemakers. This inspiring volume leaves nothing out.
—Kirkus Reviews

Weatherford takes big risks with this book and the payoff, I hope, will be immense. . . For all that this title required a lot of Weatherford, this may be the best work I’ve seen from Velasquez as well. . . When Robeson asks at the end, ‘What will history write of me?’ this book is the answer. A title for adults could do no better. . . This book gets it right. When kids pick up this book, they’ll meet all the facets of the man on the page and be able to make up their own minds about him. What they won’t do after reading this book is forget him. If you are looking for a complex biography written for kids, step this way. Consider Outspoken Paul Robeson, Ahead of his Time: A One-Man Show. You’ll get no better education than by reading this book.
—A Fuse #8 Production
Product Details
ISBN: 9781536212976
ISBN-10: 1536212970
Publisher: Candlewick
Publication Date: March 27th, 2024
Pages: 48
Language: English